Dear Neighbors and Friends, 

I would like to provide you further updates regarding COVID-19.  We are at the end of the first week since the Governor issued a state of emergency last Sunday.  Life has not been the same in Massachusetts and it looks like it will not be for some time. Working together, we will get through the health emergency and the economic issues that follow.       

Initially, you should know that you can go to my website, www.jaylivingstone.com, to access helpful information and resources.  This is updated regularly. I also provide updates through my twitter and Facebook accounts, if you want to receive them.

To access COVID-19 recession resources CLICK HERE.

To be updated on legislation related to COVID-19 CLICK HERE. 

State Updates

    • Legislature waives waiting period for unemployment benefits.  On March 18, 2020, the legislature and Governor waived the normal one-week waiting period between an application approval and when people can receive benefits.  Now people can receive benefits immediately.
    • Governor Activates the MA National Guard: On 3/19/20, Governor Baker activated the MA National Guard, which will bring new supply chain resources to state and local requests for equipment, logistics, warehouses, and other duties.
  • MA Trial Courts Closed to Public until April 6th
      • The emergency order will permit judges to issue emergency restraining orders, harassment prevention orders, and extreme risk protection orders, which are effective for 10 days and can be issued with only one party.. For MA Trial Court updates click HERE.  
    • The Mass Cultural Council provided 5 items to help with financial disruptions. You can access them HERE.  
    • MassPort: 
      • No more dine-in options at the airport – grab n go for passengers and employees
      • Logan Express will be for employees only. 
      • Closed Logan parking lot (Terminal B) to the public to allow airport employees to drive to work. 
  • MA Department of Public Health orders issued: 
      • Local Boards of Health & EMS: r.e. the sharing of critical information with EMS 
      • Pharmacists & Opioid Misuse Disorder Medication: r.e. the administration of certain medications for treatment of opioid misuse disorder
      • Physician Assistants: r.e. the flexible reassignment of PA’s. 
      • EMS Care: r.e. Emergency Medical Services Care
      • Emergency Credential: r.e. implementing emergency credentialing and licensed staff transfer procedures and medical facilities in the Commonwealth. 
  • MA Attorney General’s Office:
    • Earned Sick Time: If your employer is violating sick time laws you can call the Fair Labor Hotline at (617) 727-3465 or file a complaint online 
      • For more information on employee rights and employer obligations during COVID-19 CLICK HERE
    • Scams: if you believe you are the victim of a scam related to COVID-19 you can file a complaint HERE or call the consumer hotline at (617) 727-8400
    • Healthcare: The MA Health Connector opened a special enrollment period until April 25th for uninsured residents. 
      • To learn more click HERE 
      • Or call the AG’s Healthcare Division at (888) 830-6277
  •  MA Life Sciences Emergency Supply Hub launched on 03/18/20 to help coordinate efforts to try and bring additional supplies and resources to our state’s healthcare institutions so they can continue to test and treat patients with COVID-19

Boston Updates

  • COVID-19 Text Updates: The City of Boston launched a daily text service to get accurate and up-to-date information about COVID-19. Text keyword BOSCOVID to the number 99411 to opt-in. 
  • There will be a drop of fliers with relevant information about COVID-19 tomorrow 3/21 for all Boston residents. 
  • Economic Development: The City’s Economic Development team created a guide to help small businesses with take-out options. To access CLICK HERE
  • K-12 Students: 
    • Access the meal map for students.  CLICK HERE
    • BPS is scheduling at-home appointments to deliver chromebooks to students who do not have consistent access to the internet. Families should have received an email regarding this matter. You can also fill out THIS SURVEY. 
  • The City will continue with street cleaning however you will not get ticketed or towed due to street cleaning. 
    • *Please note other parking rules apply to ensure public safety (e.g. no parking in front of a hydrant or pedestrian ramp, etc.) 
  • The City has halted all non-essential construction.
  • All City playgrounds and tot lots have been temporarily CLOSED. 

Cambridge Updates 

  • City of Cambridge established the Mayor’s Disaster Relief Fund for COVID-19 on 03/19/20. 
  • City of Cambridge instituted a Temporary Emergency Construction Moratorium on 03/18/20. 
  • Cambridge Resources:

Federal Updates

  • Do Not Travel Advisory: The U.S. Department of State has advised that Americans avoid ALL international travel. The department issues a “Level 4: Do Not Travel” advisory as of 3/19/20 
  • Congress Passed Bill with $1B for MassHealth: Congress passed a coronavirus relief package on Wednesday, March 18th. This will provide relief in MA as it will be likely that there will be a surge of people enrolling in MassHealth. This will help more than 2 million low-income and disabled residents. 
  • SBA Disaster Declaration: MA businesses will be able to apply for an Economic Injury Disaster Loan through the U.S. Small Business Administration after Gov. Baker’s request for a disaster declaration and assistance. Businesses can apply for this loan until December 18, 2020. 
    • Small businesses, private non-profits, small agricultural operations, and small aquaculture enterprises may qualify for loans up to $2M. 
    • Interest rates: 3.75% for small business and 2.75% for nonprofits.. 
  • Scam Warnings: US Attorney of MA, Andrew Lelling,  issued a warning of people who seek to exploit the coronavirus with the sale of counterfeit goods, treatment scams, and other healthcare and investment scams. Please ensure that you are getting your information from trusted sources. Any resident who thinks they might be a victim of fraud or any other criminal activity related to the pandemic should contact Lelling’s office at USAMA.victimassistance@usdoj.gov or by calling 1-888-221-6023. 
  • 2020 Census: The Census has paused field operations until April 1st. YOU CAN STILL (AND SHOULD)  SUBMIT YOUR CENSUS INFORMATION BY:
    • Mailing back your questionnaire that you received in the mail.
    • Completing the Census form online HERE 
    • Calling 844-330-2020
    • To get a phone number associated with your preferred language click HERE
  • EVERSOURCE: announced they are postponing disconnections for nonpayments for residential and business customers across their electric, natural gas, and water operations.
  • Department of Education will not be enforcing Standardized Testing for students. 
  • Students of Higher Education can suspend their loan payments without any penalty. 
  • Federal Tax day has been moved from April 15th to July 15th

Unless you are essential/critical response personnel please continue to stay home. Social distancing is still our best response to the coronavirus. If you feel sick or think you have symptoms of the virus please call first for further directions from a professional! You can call your PCP, the Mayor’s Hotline (617) 534-5050, of the MA Dept. of Public Health at 2-1-1. The Dept. provides information in more than 150 languages. 

If you are feeling overwhelmed, anxious, or stressed about COVID-19 or for any other reasons is feeling depressed can access emotional support, mental health support, and suicide prevention support at the Call2Talk by dialing 2-1-1. You can also reach Call2Talk by calling 508-532-2255 or texting C2T to 741741. 

Please continue to follow social distancing guidance and keep updated by visiting these websites:

We will get through this together. Please do not hesitate to reach out with any questions, concerns, or suggestions. You can leave a message at my office at (617) 722-2013 or email me at Jay.Livingstone@mahouse.gov.

Best, 

Jay 

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